Funded by the Government of Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a subsidy on each qualifying student’s wages.

The wage subsidy is available for employers who hire students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program. The wage subsidy can be accessed by businesses from all facets of the visitor economy: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. 

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Register for the next virtual info session: October 27 at 1:00 PM Eastern.

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Access the Portal

Employers may register on the Propel online portal, post the position they wish to fill, hire a student, and then apply for a wage subsidy.

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Access the Employer Guide

Need help navigating the Propel online portal? 

Download this Guide

How Does It Work?

Employers register on the Propel online portal, post the position they wish to fill, hire a student, and then apply for a wage subsidy.

Employers can download this guide for detailed instructions on how to create an account and navigate the application portal.

When Is It Available?

Wage subsidies are actively available for salaries paid to qualifying students on work-integrated learning placements, with applications now being accepted for fall 2022 and winter 2023.

Have a student currently on a placement with you? You could be reimbursed for a percentage of their wages–both those paid to date and those that are forthcoming. Register on the Propel portal to apply for a wage subsidy.

Hiring for the 2022 fall season? If you’re actively recruiting students for work-integrated learning placements anytime between September and December, register on the Propel portal to post your work-integrated learning opportunity and apply for a wage subsidy.

Looking ahead to the winter? If you’re planning to employ a student on a work-integrated learning placement in January or later, express your interest via this webform and be notified when placements can be posted.

Who Qualifies?

Employers

Registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector. The position must be a work-integrated learning (WIL) placement. If an employer has previously offered paid WIL placements, "net new" criteria apply (see FAQs, below).

Students

Domestic students registered at a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution in a program with work placement component; must be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

What Are the Placement Criteria?

  • Full- or part-time work-integrated learning opportunity
  • A minimum of 20 hours a week
  • A minimum of 4 weeks
  • With a tourism/hospitality employer and/or related to a tourism/hospitality job function
  • Taking place in a safe environment
  • On-site, remote, and hybrid placements are all eligible
  • Not funded by other federal grants or programs (including Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy [CEWS] and Canada Recovery Hiring Program [CRHP])
  • Student must be hired as an employee of the company (not as an independent contractor)
  • Employer cannot hire an immediate family member, unless a clear, transparent, and fair nepotism policy is in place
  • Student cannot be replacing a displaced worker or filling a role left vacant due to a labour dispute

Placements are subject to “net new” requirements. Full details on this requirement can be found in the FAQ section.

Email propel@tourismhr.ca if you have questions on any of the above.

What Is Work-Integrated Learning?

Work-integrated learning (WIL) refers to a continuum of learning opportunities ranging from structured work experience to instances where the employer engages directly with the post-secondary education institution to address a particular challenge.

It can include:

  • Co-op placements
  • Internships
  • Practicums
  • Mentorships
  • Field placements
  • Applied projects

The goal is to accelerate the integration of new graduates with high-growth job prospects, as well as foster improved and sustainable partnerships between employers and the post-secondary education system.

For more information on the benefits and types of work-integrated learning, visit this detailed resource from our partners at Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada.

For further insights on WIL, be sure to watch a recent CEWIL thought leader panel, which featured Tourism HR Canada Director Joe Baker. A recording of the session can be viewed here.

How Can I Learn More?

Tourism HR Canada routinely hosts virtual info sessions on the Propel Student Work Placement Program, including an overview of the eligibility criteria and application process. A Q&A session with attendees follows each presentation.

FAQs

Employers can sign up through the online Propel portal, hosted by Magnet. Once registered, they can post work-integrated learning opportunities for students to apply for. They may also begin an application for a wage subsidy; the application will be finalized only once a student has been hired and all the required information and documentation has been submitted to show the employer and the student meet the eligibility criteria.

An Employer Guide is available here to assist employers with the registration and application process. 

a) 50% of total gross wages up to a maximum of $5,000 to provide students with meaningful WIL opportunities.

b) 70% of total gross wages up to a maximum of $7,000 to provide students with meaningful WIL opportunities for the following under-represented students: women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Indigenous students, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and newcomers; as well as first-year students.

The Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) is an economic development effort funded by the federal government to support the growth of Canadian businesses and nonprofits. Organizations who wish to participate must demonstrate a projected increase in the number of paid work-integrated learning (WIL) students hired in their “baseline year” in order to qualify.

Net new is determined by subtracting the number of students hired on paid WIL placements by an employer in the fiscal year prior to first participating in SWPP from the number of students the employer is intending to hire on paid WIL placements in the current fiscal year, including those already hired. The baseline number attributed to an employer creating an incremental placement will be maintained throughout their participation in SWPP.

For example, if the company hired three students on WIL placements in the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) prior to applying for funding under SWPP, then the company must intend to hire four students in this fiscal year to qualify for a subsidy for the fourth student.

To determine net new value for a particular fiscal year, employers will need the following information:

A. The number of paid student placements the employer had in a fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) prior to first participating in SWPP.

  • For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in 2017, 2018 or 2019, use the original baseline year (a fiscal year is from April 1 to March 31) prior to first participating in the SWPP;
  • For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in 2020, use 2019;
  • For employers that accessed SWPP funding for the first time in 2021, use the lesser of 2019 or 2020 number of paid student placements.

B. The estimated number of students the employer intends to hire within the current fiscal year of April 1 to March 31 (including the ones already hired).

The number of placements to be funded in a particular fiscal year will then be the net increase of placements above the baseline year.

A qualified employer can hire multiple students, provided there are sufficient resources to ensure a meaningful work-integrated learning experience for each one.

You may be eligible for a wage subsidy on qualifying placements dating back to April 1, 2022. To enquire, please email propel@tourismhr.ca.

The tourism sector includes five different industry groups: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. These include businesses and organizations related to events, concerts, meetings and conventions, museums, galleries, cultural and heritage sites, destination marketing, tour operators, and more.

The Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program supports partnerships between industry and post-secondary education institutions to create quality work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students so they can develop work-ready skills required to secure meaningful employment upon graduation.

Tourism HR Canada, which coordinates the Propel program, offers a wide range of resources for tourism and hospitality employers. Please email propel@tourismhr.ca to find out more about resources to help create a successful work-integrated learning program.

Propel is a key component of the recovery of Canada’s visitor economy.

  • Provides a link to students with a demonstrated interest in working in the sector upon graduation
  • Offers a wage subsidy to the hardest-hit businesses as they reopen
  • Creates a talent pipeline for tourism employers
  • Supports students with paid placements as they explore the diverse opportunities available in the sector and gain valuable hands-on experience
  • Encourage students to consider studying tourism and hospitality by offering direct, paid connections with employers
  • Strengthen ties between education and industry to ensure ongoing engagement and dialogue about skills and talent development

If you would like additional information about Propel, the Student Work Placement Program, or work-integrated learning, please email propel@tourismhr.ca.

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